The learning health system moves away from the traditional idea of independent researchers overseeing years-long trials and only releasing their data at the end.  Instead, its hallmark is partnership between research, community and clinical operations. By working closely with all stakeholders – including patients and community providers – and listening to their ideas, researchers can build the trust and buy-in necessary for system level change.

In this series, we explore the fundamentals of a learning health system as well as describe several examples and case studies of learning health systems in action.

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by Wendy Glauser

Health-care organizations don’t usually have R&D departments; instead, researchers typically apply for grants for one-off studies. That’s a problem—but one that could be changing.

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by Wendy Glauser

The siloes in Canadian health systems can decrease the quality of care patients receive. But Ontario Health Teams are trying to address this problem by bringing primary care, hospital and community providers together.

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by Wendy Glauser

The COVID vaccine rollout is a litmus test for the learning health system. It requires speed, well-working collaborations with community members and the ability to adjust on the fly as supplies and eligibility requirements change.

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by Wendy Glauser

In our first learning health system case study, we profile an AI program that predicts which patients are at a high risk of going to the ICU. It has been successfully implemented largely because its developers took input from the physicians and nurses who would be using it from the get go.

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by Wendy Glauser

Too often, health-care innovations don’t actually improve health systems – the innovators haven't collaborated with patients, and doctors, and other stakeholders. But a different approach, the learning health system, is trying to change that.